There’s never been a better month to see the bold contemporary work emerging from our Visual Arts department, thanks to a number of local solo exhibits by professors and alumni.
Professor Megan Dickie presents Blue Skies, her latest solo exhibit of new works. Recently exhibited at L’Oeil de Poisson Art Centre in Quebec City, this body of work continues Dickie’s exploration of agency, resilience and struggle. Combining a five-channel video installation with a series of glittering, hypnotic sculptures that claim the gallery space, Blue Skies reflects Dickie’s practice of using extreme physicality, choreographed set-ups and fantastic failures as a means to poke at dominant systems and structures.
Blue Skies runs until Oct 14 at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (1040 Moss).
Remarkably, Blips and other Info—the exhibit of new work by professor Jennifer Stillwell—is her first solo exhibition in Victoria. While she has been involved in group exhibits locally over the years, and often exhibits out of town, it’s a treat to see her latest work at the new Empty Gallery, run by Visual Arts MFA alum Matt Trahan.
Blips and other Info runs until Oct 5 at Empty Gallery (833 Fisgard).
Sculptor and professor Daniel Laskarin joins with Vancouver-based painter Shelley Penfold to present waterfalling, an exploration of the nature and breadth of our human interactions. Employing an abstracted visual language arising from attraction and aversion, question and response, the work in this exhibition considers how our thoughts and conversations can break apart to reform and coalesce
waterfalling runs until Oct 5 at Deluge Contemporary (636 Yates). Laskarin will also be holding an artist’s talk at the gallery at 2pm Saturday, Sept 28.
Professor Cedric Bomford’s Mountain Embassy large-scale work examines our constructed environment through installation and photography, from surveillance towers to floating structures. A new work sited on Burnaby mountain that contemplates an embassy’s role as an official mission abroad and its physical presence as a building on the ground in a foreign country, Bomford’s temporary structure is the fourth in a series of architectural interventions that considers the power dynamics of a distant authority through international diplomacy, conventions of identity and ambassadorial relations.
Mountain Embassy runs through to Dec 7 at the SFU Gallery and offsite in Burnaby.
In other Visual Arts news, Audain Professor Carey Newman is looking at a busy autumn, with the launch of a new book—Picking Up The Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket—plus multiple screenings of his Picking Up The Pieces documentary on Sept 22 (Belfry Theatre), Sept 23 (Vancouver) and Sept 30 (UVic), as well as designing the T-shirt image for Orange Shirt Day (Sept 30), winning a $50,000 Storyhive documentary film grant, and presenting at the Vancouver Writers Festival in October.
Recently retired professor Robert Youds presents his recent installation “For Everyone A Fountain” as part of the group exhibit Garden in the Machine, running at the Surrey Art Gallery until Dec 15. Using computer software, Youds translates photographs of the iconic Butchart Gardens into coloured light sequences spanning the four seasons, appearing in a tower of gleaming metal building and office materials. Youds creates a compelling space that collapses the boundaries between architecture and nature, work and leisure, image and object, utopia and dystopia.
Professor emeritus Lynda Gammon presents the solo exhibit, Studio Practice: Meditation Practice at the Victoria Arts Council (1800 Store) until Oct 27. Bridging Gammon’s artistic concerns through installations that incorporate her long-standing use of photography with a renewed exploration of ceramics, this exhibit is inspired by Buddhist practices of meditation. “Over the past several decades, I have considered ideas of the studio through the disciplines of sculpture, assemblage, and photography,” says Gammon. “My work is positioned between the flat illusionistic space of photography and the volumetric physical space of sculpture,” she says.
The work of professor emeritus Sandra Meigs is also being featured in the latest publication from UVic Libraries: [untitled]: The Artists’ Archives at the University of Victoria Libraries is a series of interrelated booklets in a limited edition portfolio exploring the archives of multidisciplinary artist Meigs, ceramicist Robin Hopper, painter and digital artist Glenn Howarth, and painter and mosaicist Margaret Peterson, with a corresponding exhibit of Hopper’s work at UVic’s Legacy Maltwood Gallery.
On the alumni front, noted local performance artist and art instructor John G Boehme opens Doing Things ‘n Stuff: An Accumulation of Actions, Relics, Recent Work and More at Open Space (510 Fort). Boehme will also give a free Visiting Artist talk in Visual Arts at 7:30pm Wed, Sept 25, in room A162 of the Visual Arts building.This month-long exhibition will highlight the international practice of this Victoria-based performance artist and cast a light on the vibrant performance art community within the city. Over the past 25 years, Boehme has created a body of work that explores his own physicality in relation to materials and processes. Often situating his work in critical response to current issues and concerns of contemporary performance art, Boehme works with sculpture, video, and live action, at times simultaneously, integrating materials, media, and processes into installations and time-based events.
Recent alum Austin Clay Willis presents Curious Construction, an exhibit of paintings and sculptural works that explore formal possibilities as they relate to their own construction. The visual rhetoric of the paintings is reflected in the sculptures, opening up a dialogue between the two disciplines and expressing a creative exploration of colour, form and material. Curious Construction runs to Sept 21 at Xchanges Gallery (2333 Government).
And Visual Arts alum Christian Giroux, as half of the celebrated artist team Young & Giroux, present Film Path, Camera Path, with Under-titles at the AGGV until Oct 6. This exciting new project merging their sculpture practice with film installation using high tech design and manufacturing technologies. Film Path, Camera Path, with Under-titles collides the projected image with the apparatus of its presentation and the moving image with sculpture. A film path is composed into a complex knot made possible by multi-planer geometric modeling, perimetric design, and additive manufacturing. Inside the path is a film looper that projects a one-minute long 3D rendering of a camera’s travel along the path that has been printed to 35mm motion picture film. Accompanying the projection is an LED screen that displays under-titled text prepared for the piece by poets, theorists, and artists. Daniel Young & Christian Giroux have been making art together since 2002.
Finally, watch for MFA alum Chris Lindsay‘s upcoming exhibition, running Nov 14-Dec 14 at Victoria’s Empty Gallery.